Retirement is an exciting transition for individuals who have longed for the time and freedom to do as they please. However, many seniors fear they may not have anyone to spend their time or do these desired activities with. This does not have to be the case, as moving into a senior living community means you are surrounded by tons of others looking to develop friendships and share their interests! Sustaining, and creating new friendships as a senior is not only fulfilling but also stimulates the brain and promotes a greater life expectancy. The benefits of socialization for seniors are never-ending, and luckily senior living facilities provide residents with many opportunities to interact with one another. Here is a list of techniques that will make developing friendships in a senior living community easier and far less intimidating.
Making Friends In Senior Living
Take Advantage Of The Facility’s Group Activities
One of the best features that comes with moving into a senior living facility is that there are plenty of events to keep you busy and meet new people. From bingo games and art classes to talent shows or even something as simple as a game of cards, there is sure to be an activity that catches your eye! Make the most of these opportunities! At Landmark Senior Living we offer daily exercise and strength training classes, weekly yoga classes, and more. If there is a particular activity you are interested in you can attend the event to meet people who share similar interests. As you enjoy these hobbies together, friendships are sure to fall into place.
Spend More Time In Common Places, Rather Than Your Apartment
Instead of going back to your senior apartment to read or browse the web try doing so in one of the facilities common areas. Perhaps bring a board game or a deck of cards with, and use it as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with whoever else is hanging out in there. There are many ways you could occupy yourself in a senior living community lounge, such as:
- Read the newspaper
- Do a jigsaw puzzle or play a game of solitaire
- Enjoy a snack or a cup of coffee
- Play games on your tablet
- Work on a sudoku or a crossword puzzle
- Watch a TV show
- Knit or work on a craft
- Write in a journal
Pay attention to how the other residents are spending their time, and if something catches your eye, share your interest with them or ask if you can join in. Don’t be afraid to approach new people, as they are likely eager to expand their friendships as well. Keep in mind that your friendships do not have to be strictly limited to other residents, and you can get to know the staff as well. They are here to support you and getting to know them can help you feel more at home in your new living facility. Simply spending more time outside of your apartment will inevitably lead to opportunities to widen your social circle!
Join Various Groups Of People At Meals
Food has always had a way of bringing people together, and sharing a meal with others is one of the easiest ways to get a conversation going and a friendship forming! If conversations aren't flowing how you'd like them to, don’t be afraid to sit with new people! Try to develop common ground, share your interests and hobbies, talk about your favorite foods, TV shows, or sports teams, ask them about their family and friends. If you are looking for go-to conversation topics, try bringing up:
- Entertainment (movies, TV shows, books)
- Previous field of work
- Current events
- Kids and family
- Where they have lived
- Interesting stories
Introduce yourself to as many residents as possible, as meals will take up a decent amount of your day and you want to ensure the most like-minded individuals surround you. Finding the right group will make mealtime much more enjoyable, as well as time outside of meals that can be spent with these people!
Adjusting to life in a senior living community does not happen overnight, and with that neither do relationships. Expect the process to take a little while, but do not let it discourage you! The more time spent in the community, the better you will get to know other residents and the easier it will become to approach ones you do not know. Try new activities you perhaps have never been interested in, and contact people you have not thought to mix with. You may just end up developing a new hobby or a new best friend, and if not you have nothing to lose! Attempt to be as welcoming as possible, for even a simple “hello” to a neighbor in the hallway could make their day and lead to so much more! Throughout all of this remember that making friends is a process that takes time. Don’t push yourself too hard, and always make yourself a priority, taking time to relax and enjoy some alone time in your apartment. Try not to worry too much about whether you are doing enough, and instead let your friendships develop naturally. Senior living communities are fantastic places to remain social and involved in the lives of others, but like anything in life, it takes time! If you are experiencing feelings of isolation call a friend or family member to catch up with them and hear what they've been up to. Let these strong relationships remind you that there are more to be formed!
Make New Friends At Landmark Senior Living!
At Landmark Senior Living we have locations all around the country that are committed to delivering the highest quality of care to our residents. In our supportive communities, we promote good health, an active lifestyle, and personalized care services. We offer a variety of opportunities for seniors to stay involved in their community, continuing to develop lifelong friendships. Weekly events to look forward to include outings, music events, and our daily and weekly classes. Come into Landmark Senior Living today, and experience the Landmark way of life!